Christopher Evans is a writer and editor from Vancouver, Canada. His fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in The New Quarterly, Going Down Swinging, The Literary Review, The Moth, and other fine publications.
This poem was initially conceived as a character sketch to be used in a fiction piece. The story never came together, but I was still interested in using art as a bridge to experiences outside one’s own.
The Courtroom Artist Enters Her Blue Period
She trades her graphite for oils, traces
the high arch of the embezzler’s hairline
in cobalt, the jury monochrome,
gaunt, draped in denim, grand larceny
suffused with Prussian light
Any further questions
from the prosecution?
Your Honour, just one:
Has her objectivity been compromised?
No, only her palette, and the teal
saturation of the bailiffs’ concern,
the stenographer’s purpled fingers
forever adrift above the shorthand keys
Stretch of canvas, only a medium
between their violent world
and ours, her only jurisdiction
the thin viridian swoop
of the arsonist’s jaw